5 – 11 June: US House of Representatives members call on White House to clarify its position on Libya

Jun 12, 2019 | International actors

On 7 June, a bipartisan group of eight members of the US House of Representatives sent an open letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking the White House to clarify its Libya position by clearly rejecting the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) military offensive against Tripoli, led by Khalifa Haftar, and “bolstering the UN-led peace process.” The letter outlined concerns that the ongoing conflict is creating a security vacuum that will allow ISIS to re-emerge in Libya.

The same day, the Government of National Accord (GNA) Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq said that despite rumours disputing US support to the GNA, he was now clear that “the US is standing by us [the GNA] as the legitimate government of Libya.” Maiteeq’s statement came during a press conference in Washington DC after a day of meetings with US congress members and the State Department. A State Department official said that the US is “consulting with a broad range of Libyan leaders, as well as our international partners, to press for stabilisation and bring Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and General Haftar back to the negotiating table.”

On 10 June, the UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously extended until June 2020 Resolution 2473 which authorises member states to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya, bound to or from the country, if they have reasonable grounds to believe they are violating the arms embargo. Prior to the UNSC’ renewal of the maritime component of the arms embargo, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, appealed to all countries to implement the embargo and prevent weapons reaching Libya by sea, air and land. Guterres stated that the UN efforts to monitor the embargo identified “illicit transfers of arms and related material” in and out of Libya.